Tuesday, July 31, 2007

farm subsidies for those who've "bought the farm"

Last week, the GAO released a report detailing taxpayer subsidies to farmers who have been dead for some time. For example, from 1999-2005, the USDA paid $1.1 billion in farm payments in the names of more than 170K dead people (either as an individual or as a member of an entity). Of these, 40% percent went to those who had been dead for at least three years; 19% went to those who had been dead for at least seven years.

For more resources on farm subsidies in general, you can read my article from a local perspective last Spring or a series of articles from a national perspective. And of course, I would encourage you to visit the Environmental Working Group's awesome website where you can figure out the exact amount of subsidies paid to specific individuals from 1995-2005. For example, you can see how much money was taken from taxpayers to prevent former basketball star Scottie Pippen from farming. It's a lot of "fun"...


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